Wednesday, February 21, 2018
News Roundup

Largo seeks developer for zip line course in park

LARGO — If all goes well, this city will have people swinging through the trees — on zip lines.

The zip line would be one of several games on a "tree adventure course" that city staff members propose setting up at the Highland Recreation Complex. It's an idea Largo commissioners signed off on earlier this year.

A zip line is composed of a pulley and a cable. The cable is set on a slant so someone can hold on to the pulley and glide from one place to another in midair.

The tree adventure proposal is the brainchild of parks superintendent Greg Brown, who tried such a course with his son on a Boy Scout outing. Brown was hooked and decided to try bringing the experience to Largo. Brown thinks it would be the first such course in Pinellas County and perhaps first in the Tampa Bay area. The course would offer adventurous locals a new experience, he said.

"There's nothing else like it," Brown said.

Brown's concept is to form a public-private partnership for the course, much like the Zoomair Adventure Park in Daytona Beach. Daytona Beach supplies the land at Tuscawilla Park, whereas Zoomair designed and built the courses, and maintains and operates them.

Zoomair has three courses. Two of them, the Lagoon and Reef, have more than 30 games, including eight zip lines. Zoomair's website, zoomair.us/daytonabeach, describes these two courses as a "chance to play Tarzan . . . and get your 'tree legs.' " The third course, Point Break, is higher and more difficult. It has 16 more games, including four more zip lines. One of the zip lines is about 500 feet long.

Admission starts at $18 for the Lagoon course alone. Percy Williamson, director of leisure services for Daytona Beach, could not be reached for comment. But Brown said he was told that Daytona Beach's cut of the profits was about $80,000 in the first 18 months of operation.

Largo has advertised for potential operators to develop a proposal for a course at the recreation complex at 400 Highland Ave. City officials envision the course extending from the wooded area along Highland, on the southwest side of the property, northeast across the lake to the wooded area bordering Lake Avenue that's across from the Largo Sports Complex. The course would include games and obstacles, which could include two zip lines that would cross the lake, that the developer would propose.

"Zip lines are sort of the highlight of the games," Brown said.

The developer would build the course and run it, and the city would periodically check it to make sure the trees are healthy. Other details would be worked out once the city chooses a vendor. Vendor proposals are due this week.

Contact Anne Lindberg at [email protected] or (727) 893-8450. Follow @alindbergtimes.

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